Know what counters the drowsy effects of tryptophan-laced turkey meat? Edgy, underground music. Here are some shows sure to keep you from dozing:
The millions of dollars that touring rock-opera production Trans Siberian Orchestra spends every year on lighting, stage props and pyro for its Lost Christmas Eve production will peel open your peepers. Cross TSO off your list at 8 p.m. November 30 at the Orleans, as the symphonic metal-meets-Andrew Lloyd Webber extravaganza returns to Las Vegas. Only a Grinch would turn down a chance to be bombarded by bombastic yuletide songs “Wizards in Winter” and “Siberian Sleigh Ride.” Hail Santa!
Should you prefer skateboards over sleigh bells, punk-metal legends Suicidal Tendencies won’t be hanging any mistletoe on the very same night (Nov. 30), 8 p.m. at House of Blues. The band arrives in support of 13, its first disc of new music in 13 years. While not quite a return to form, you can expect the Tendencies to treat you to their ’80s-era hits such as “Institutionalized” and “Trip at the Brain.” Crossover thrash doesn’t get any better than this L.A. outfit. (Heads up: Frontman Mike Muir remains the only original member.) Also on the bill: Terror, Trash Talk, Sprung Monkey and the Inspector Cluzo.
Here’s a hidden gem: 7 p.m. December 3, HellPop! comics shop inside the Arts Factory is throwing together an incredible evening of outré music that includes New York City folk-punk weirdos Wood Spider. This Americana ensemble sports eclectic instrumentation—banjo, ukulele, glockenspiel, accordion, cello, saw, washboard and upright bass. Over this acoustic havoc, the musicians scream-sing lyrics of heartbreak and alienation. It’s bracing yet oddly beautiful. Vegas folk-punk bands share the bill: Lawn Mower Death Riders, Alexander the Terrible, Pistol Shoebox, Time Crashers and Mountain Meadows Massacre.
Me, I’m considering another option that very same night (Dec. 3), at 7 p.m. at Cabaret Jazz in The Smith Center. There, Mari-Achi Christmas: Mariachi Sol de Mexico de José Hernández will take the stage. Mariachi bandleader and world music figure Hernàndez and his band Sol De Mexico will share the Christmas traditions of “Veracruz, Yucatán and Jalisco.” Posada-style celebrations and pastoral ballads will be presented via music, dance and merriment.
Your Vegas band releasing a CD soon? Email Jarret_Keene@Yahoo.com.